EBRD, Bank of Greece and EU boost financial innovation in Greece

By Olga Aristeidou

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  • The Bank of Greece launches its regulatory sandbox today
  • Project implemented in collaboration with the EBRD and funded by the European Union
  • The regulatory sandbox is expected to foster financial technology in Greece

Greek companies will now have the opportunity to test innovative financial products and services, thanks to the Bank of Greece’s new regulatory sandbox, launched in Athens today.

The project, implemented in collaboration with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), was funded by the European Union (EU) through the Structural Reform Support programme, with consultant support from EY Greece.

The Bank of Greece established the regulatory sandbox with a view to fostering financial technology (fintech) in Greece, by providing a protected environment in which eligible firms can test innovative solutions for their conformity with applicable regulatory requirements, without any risk to financial stability.

Such testing is conducted in a controlled environment, based on predefined parameters and time frames, under the close supervision of the Bank of Greece.

Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras stressed that the Regulatory Sandbox will serve as “a further driver of FinTech and innovation in Greece, in addition to the Innovation Hub” and that “the Bank of Greece attaches great importance to Innovation, all the more so as it expects that the end of the pandemic will shape a new social and economic reality, primarily digital, in which knowledge, scientific research, technology and innovation will be the main drivers of prosperity”.

Andreea Moraru, EBRD Director, Regional Head of Greece and Cyprus, said: “We are proud to support the launch of the Greek regulatory sandbox today and to have partnered with the Bank of Greece and the EU to promote financial innovation in the country. Building on the great work the Bank of Greece has already done through its innovation hub, this new framework places Greece among the pioneer countries in the EU that have ventured into regulatory sandboxes in order to foster innovation in financial services. For the EBRD, accelerating the digital transition is among our top priorities, and we see the sandbox as an important step forward, to the benefit of consumers, society and the Greek economy overall.”

The EBRD has been supporting the development of innovative new banking approaches in its regions for many years. The Bank acts as an investor and works with governments and authorities to create a supportive regulatory framework, building regulatory sandboxes and designing roadmaps for the creation of a fintech ecosystem in the economies where it invests. Fostering the EBRD regions’ huge potential for fintech is an increasingly important part of the Bank’s work – as an investor, a policy adviser and a cooperation partner.

The EBRD started investing in Greece on a temporary basis in 2015 to support the country’s economic recovery. To date, the Bank has invested more than €4.6 billion in 78 projects in the corporate, financial, energy and infrastructure sectors of the Greek economy.

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